Virat Kohli backs Olympics contingent, calls criticism hurtful

Virat Kohli applauded the Indian athletes participating in the Olympics and said their hard work shouldn't be weighed on just medals.

By: PTI | Gros Islet | Published: August 14, 2016 11:40 am
Virat Kohli, Kohli, Kohli India, Kohli India Olympics, Kohli Olympics, Virat Kohli India Olympics, India Rio Olympics, Rio 2016 Olympics, Olympics, Olympics news Virat Kohli asked for the Indian Olympians to be supported and not condemned for lack of medals. (Source: AP)

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has thrown his weight behind India’s Olympic contingent, which is yet to win a medal at the Rio Games, saying that the athletes have given their heart and soul to be there despite not getting top-class facilities that other nations provide.

Speaking to the media after the 237-run win over West Indies in the third Test here, Kohli lauded the contingent and
said the athletes should not be judged harshly. “In an event like Olympics, firstly we need to look at how these athletes prepare. They give their heart and soul. And for some people to just ignore what they do, I think it is
very hurtful. Even in cricket, you can’t perform every game and you don’t win every series,” Kohli said.

“These guys go and give 100 per cent effort in what they do. Some people don’t even have 10 per cent of the facilities
that sportsmen from other countries have. And then they sit and compare in our country,” he added.

Kohli said the Indian athletes work as hard as anyone in the world and they should be supported in their quest to be at the top. “They’re giving their 120 per cent effort, and at the end of the day, that is what matters. Once someone wins a medal, that’s a big deal because we understand that we don’t have those kinds of facilities, but still these guys work as hard as anyone else in the world. They try and go and win a medal for us,” he said.

“I think we just need to stay positive with all the events that are left. We must give credit to the guys who have gone on and competed. Hats off to the guys who go there and compete and are there in the mix because it’s so hard with no preparation and facility, it’s so hard to be at that level. But still they go out there and give their heart and soul for
the country and we should appreciate that,” he added.

Writer Shobha De had triggered a social media storm by ridiculing the contingent, drawing angry reactions from
sportspersons across the board including India’s only individual Olympic gold-medallist, ace rifle shooter Abhinav
Bindra.

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  1. N
    Nityananda
    Aug 14, 2016 at 10:17 am
    Let us remember with pride how many World Cup and World Chamioonship medals our shooters and archers have won last four years. Also the les won at global events by our badminton players . Let's not just focus on the Olympics which are prestigious , but not the only thing.
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      Nishant
      Aug 14, 2016 at 9:29 am
      Lack of medals in Olympics is not a matter of shame, but the real reason is indeed a matter of such. It is fundamentally tied to good nutrition and good training from early childhood. Our per capita food availability is one of the lowest, far lower than China, and this is almost equivalent to what a diabetic eats in other countries. Second, there is no systematic culture of sports in schools and colleges, as there are no appropriate amount of funds even for a discipline like running. In the absence of good food and clean water, our children have to struggle more often with malnutrition and tropical infections. The solution to medals is obvious, but, no elections have ever been fought on issues like food, water, and health. Therefore, one can confidently claim that this situation is unlikely to change in India, indian subcontinent, Africa and middle eastern countries as one or the other conditions are present in each one of these. We have both. These countries should just focus on fundamentals of good health, medals is just a distant milestone.
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        Nishant
        Aug 14, 2016 at 5:43 pm
        There is a good chance that our potions nutrition and per capita availability of food is even worse than Kenya or Brazil.
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          Thomas George
          Aug 14, 2016 at 10:00 am
          Yet, Kenyans win marathons. Brazilians who are as poor as we are excel in many sports. The real reason is that sportsmen in our country choose sports to get government jobs. Not many start with a dream. Maybe, it is difficult in our country. But, most athletes from other countries are not very rich either.
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